Bits: Avios flights from Liverpool and Newcastle, Amex Plat not dropping Accor

News in brief:

Avios redemptions soon possible from Liverpool

Over the weekend I published details of Avios flights from UK regional airports.  If you got the email version, you will have missed a late change I made in response to a HFP reader comment.

Two Avios redemptions will soon be available from Liverpool John Lennon airport.  Neither will necessarily be a good use of miles, however.

First up is an Aer Lingus flight from Liverpool to Dublin.  This route begins in October.  You can book Aer Lingus flights with Avios if you call British Airways – they cannot be booked online.  Be warned, though, that the taxes (there is no Reward Flight Saver on Aer Lingus redemptions) can often approach the cost of a cash ticket.

The second new route is a flight from Liverpool to Barcelona with VuelingVueling is a low cost Spanish airline, owned by BA’s parent company.  You can only book Avios redemptions if you transfer your points to an Iberia Plus account and redeem from there.  Again, such redemptions are not necessarily going to be a great deal given the cost of cash tickets.

The Barcelona route starts from late March 2016.


And also from Newcastle …..

Last week, Vueling also announced a new route from Newcastle to Barcelona from Summer 2016.

It will start at two flights per week in late March, rising to three flights per week from June.

With prices reportedly starting at £80 return, an Avios redemption is not necessarily going to make such sense.  I doubt those prices will be around for peak Summer dates though.

You can find out more at

LeClub Accorhotels

Le Club Accorhotels Platinum status has NOT gone as an American Express Platinum benefit

Finally, there has been some concern on Head for Points in the reader comments in recent days that American Express had dropped Platinum status in Le Club Accorhotels as a member benefit for American Express Platinum charge card members.

(Amex does ‘have form’ here.  In 2013 it removed Hilton Gold status overnight without notice.  This was especially galling for many members as, since it was a one off benefit, they had delayed their application as they had no Hilton stays pending.)

The good news is that Accor status is not going away.  The following notice has now appeared on the Platinum cardholders website:

“NOTICE: AccorHotels is currently experiencing a technical issue. Le Club Accorhotels enrolment capabilities will be reinstated once this issue has been resolved. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

It's back - 500 Clubcard points (1,200 Avios) for joining TopCashback
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  1. People in Manchester will be happy to hear the news for their airport

    Madrid and Barcelona with Iberia and Vueling.
    There are also other new routes if that is of your interest.

  2. Good news about the Accor status!

  3. Sandgrounder says:

    I may have missed it, but I can’t remember a mention for the Accor World Cup game Tackle the Odds? 25 points for each correct result:

    Yes, I got SA-Japan wrong!

    • For 25 points, I felt it a waste of an article 🙂

      • I thought that was the point of the “bits” articles, like this one. I actually misread the original email and thought you only got points if you were at the top of the leaderboard (which I felt would be unlikely).

        In other news, Premier Inn have announced their “Great Night Giveaway” for 2015. Effectively stay three times, get a free night. The terms are relatively quite strict for qualifying rates and redemption requirements, but it does work. I personally think that would be worth an article 🙂

        • Premier Inn is on the list.

          Filling in a whole Fantasy Rugby team for 25 points?! Got to draw the line somewhere. Also required Facebook.

        • You’ve misunderstood the game, Rob! You simply guess the winners of a list of matches. Each correct guess gets you 25 points. Very, very simple. No Fantasy Rugby teams or any of that nonsense, like with the redspottedhanky games. Quick and easy, I assure you.

        • Just a few thousand short of accor platinum myself but tbh I couldn’t be bothered despite appreciating the simplicity When Japan beat SA I felt vindicated!

        • No. Its very quick to choose the winner of 10 of the 1st stage games. Get 8 right and your entered into a draw for 50,000 accor points.

          Stage 2 6 correct predictions out of 8 games entered into a draw for 50,000 accor points.

          Stage 3 1 correct prediction out of 3 games entered into a draw for 50,000 accor points.
          Three 1000 Euro draws for very little effort and far far fewer entrants than a HFP draw

      • It’s 25 points per correct guess – and let’s face it, most of the games at this stage are easy to guess. It’s certainly more lucrative, if you can use that term in this connection, than the Avios suitcase points you get, and the effort involved is probably the same.

        But then Accor doesn’t get the coverage it deserves on this site.

  4. Off topic but I booked an air Alaska flight for 10,000 avios and I had to pay £16.20 in tax. I thought air Alaska didn’t charge tax when booking through ba. Also it’s $75 for a checked bag. Does anyone know if I will still get an additional bag if booking this checked bag?

  5. And also from Leeds/Bradford………..
    Vueling also confirmed the launch of twice weekly Leeds/Bradford to Barcelona flights at the same time they announced the Liverpool and Newcastle services mentioned above. Starts late March, twice weekly.

  6. Who would really care if accor dropped their status. Got me like a couple of free drinks over the years staying at Ibis’s and Novotels. And that’s about it. Now if Novotels had lounges…

    Hilton was a serious loss of the only decent hotel loyalty card on there. Clubcarlson does not allow access to their lounge on a room upgrade, and I don’t think starwood have them, if they have, I’ve not been upgraded to them (then again, I avoid them because I think they don’t).

    • Hilton was only for one year though.

    • I’ve just spent three nights in a MGallery in Zurich. Got a double upgrade to a suite and free minibar as a result of being platinum. If you stay at Ibis hotels, there is no scope for real benefits, since it is a budget brand. So I guess, to answer your initial question, all those people who stay at the upper-scale Accor hotels would care.

    • As always with hotel loyalty stuff, it really depends on the hotel. My wife and I are both Club Carlson gold and we’ve been denied any benefit whatsoever at some Radisson Blu hotels, but I’ve also managed to force a redemption at the Radisson Martinique on Broadway at 50,000 a night and then get an upgrade to a penthouse suite for about £40 a night, which has to be the best recognition of status I’ve ever received. I’ve never received any real benefit for Accor plat – the most useful thing they did for me was give me an ice scraper for my car as my free gift!

      I’m fairly new to Intercontinental Ambassador, but so far I’ve been very impressed with the level of upgrade we get. The big difference, of course, is that an upgrade with Ambassador is a GUARANTEED benefit. I don’t think Accor or Club Carlson guarantee you anything of any real value.

      • I virtually gave up on hotel loyalty schemes some years ago prefering instead to book whichever hoter at whichever potal offered the best value on a stay by stay basis. It has worked a treat, have saved a lot and got to experience some great independent hotels too woth bags more personality and charm. Despite this I have still often stayed the chains where it paid me to do so such as 8000 accor points for 3 x 1 night stays, one of the IHG challenges, and Hilton instant gold via Etihad.

    • I got a Happy Mondays room at the Pullman in London for £60 and got a free upgrade and drinks voucher for my gold status. Not bad for a free status card.

  7. Third new route – Birmingham to Madrid with Iberia Express, starting from next March

  8. VY are also goin to fly to LBA

    Vueling in summer 2016 season is introducing 3 new UK routes from Barcelona, serving Leeds/Bradford and Newcastle. Planned operational schedule as follow.

    eff 28MAR16 Barcelona – Leeds/Bradford 2 weekly
    VY8794 BCN 0700 – 0835 LBA 320 1 5
    VY8795 LBA 0915 – 1235 BCN 320 1 5

  9. Is there a reason you’ve specified you can book “domestic” Aer Lingus flights online? The route you mentioned isn’t domestic, and I didn’t think there any restrictions on booking domestic/international flights anyway (other than availability obviously).

  10. Chewbacca says:

    Is it definite that Accor isn’t being dropped? Just upgraded my gold amex and I don’t see Accor on the list of partners to enrol in. SPG and Carlson is there and it was there 6 months ago but now. Accor is still in the hard welcome pack which is sent with thePlatinum card but not mention on the website?